Stand United In Love & Sitting Among Friends Blog Party #22

What a journey the past few weeks have been. I thank you all for joining us and sharing your encouragement. If you have not had a chance to read the posts on church and the Church go to:

This week, I want to encourage you with this final post to this series from verses found in Ephesians 4:1-6 which are expressed in many other ways throughout the Bible and throughout Paul’s letters.

As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

Notice, Paul calls himself a prisoner of the Lord. In many circles being a prisoner is not a desirable position but Paul continually expresses his love for serving the Lord, even in this situation.

How many of us have been imprisoned for our faith? Yet, he is encouraging us and urging us on to continue in our calling in humbleness, patience and most importantly in love for one another. 

In verse 6, we have assurance of the greatness of God, Father of all, WHO IS OVER ALL AND THROUGH ALL AND IN ALL. That is the God that is on our side. HE is the One who is for us.

Over the past several weeks in our conversations, we have talked about how hard life is in a church setting. We often expect from the people, even in church, to not just be like God but be God and have the attributes that only God can have. This reality hits us hard sometimes and rocks our boat to the point we turn away from church and sometimes God.

That is not, in any way, God’s desire for the Church. Here, Paul calls for unity.

Paul, in these verses in Ephesians, is calling us to become a united, mature body in Christ and he is telling us it starts with loving one another. When Jesus was asked what the greatest commandment was, He said to love God and love others.

We often times, forget the second part. The result is hurt of all kinds and magnitudes.

Paul is urging us here and I am encouraging you today, as believers in Christ, LOVE one another. Live your life worthy of your calling. Keep every effort to keep the unity.

We need to be able to stand together united. Today at my Bible study, we talked about fighting spiritual battles, also in Ephesians. Chapter 6 verse 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.

The part that especially stands out to me, related to the Church is having the armor of the shield.

Soldiers on the front lines would hold a shield that was taller than they were. When fighting alone, they were vulnerable from almost every side. But when standing together, arm in arm, shield in front, they could press through the battle lines. They were protected on many sides. Feet standing firm in Christ and His Word, holding the lines or pressing forward.

That is the unity we are to have as the Church. Standing firm, together, holding our ground, and pressing through the lines, united in Christ.

Our calling is to share the Gospel, the Good News of Christ’s death, burial and resurrection and the hope it offers to each and every person. Are you willing to pursue your calling for Christ today?

I hope these posts have been an encouragement to your heart. I know the conversations and time with you have been encouraging to me. Thank you.

Again, if anyone is in a position of being on the fence or uncertain about their next move, feel free to email me.  I would love to encourage you further. I would love to pray with you. I would love to help you move to a place of healing and to your next step in the journey. 


While you're here, sit down with some of my friends. 

Wow! Last week had 96 posts. I am so glad you all are here. Please remember to visit other friends while you are posting.

They are amazing writers with so many great stories to share with you. Just clink on a link below and you will go directly to their site where you can get to know them more. 

Please, linkup (up to 3) of your family-friendly inspiring stories, recipes, DIY, homeschool, giveaways, or share your life's greatest passions. 

Friends are here to encourage and challenge us in our walk of life, so enjoy!

Thank you for posting and linking up. I try to read and comment on as many of these wonderful posts as I can and as time allows. I just want to say you are all doing wonderful work and praise the Lord that I have had the opportunity to come across the path of so many of you. 

This party has been fantastic and it is thanks to all of you who stop by and Share this party with your friends. Together we can make this our great place. There are easy share buttons to your left or at the bottom of each post (mobile) and after you linkup. 



               Thanks! From all of us at  #SittingAmongFriends 











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We Are the Church and Sitting Among Friends Blog Party #21

We have been on a fantastic journey over the past couple of weeks. What has made this great is the conversation that has been swirling through the comments. I hope you know that if you leave comments here, they are not overlooked. You matter to me and so do our conversations. I love that I am getting to know you and your hearts. If you comment, will you do me a favor, will you come back, and check my response. If you have anything to add, please do. This is not meant to be one-sided where I post and you read. 

Friends, The Battle Ground and 3 Tips To Finding a Church to Call Home leads us into this week's post. These last two weeks have evolved into more than expected. I am writing in response to comments in a way that is intended to be healing and for the purposes of making us all stronger as a whole.

I started this blog to encourage the body of Christ. As believers, we are the body. We as the body are to be edifying, which means to build up and make stronger. I started Sitting Among Friends because I love to be able to sit down with you and have meaningful and biblical conversations, such as this.

I want to clarify two terms and I will try to be careful not use the two interchangeably. The word church as in the meeting and assembling of God's people and The Church, which is the body of Christ as a whole, Christ being the head.

Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of Him who is the head, that is, Christ. Ephesians 4:15

I grew up going to church. I have seen many things, both good and honestly, bad, but I love church. Attending church and having fellowship with other believers is vital. We were not intended on going through life and our journey alone.

If we look at the ministry of Jesus, as soon as he began, he started gathering people, his disciples, and they journeyed together.

Let's be honest, did Christ need them to do His work? Does He need us to do His work now? Christ can accomplish His purposes with or without us. He wants us to be a part of it. So, in the gathering of the people, the assembling of His disciples (both then and now) shows us, He wants this to be a journey where we are in fellowship and in communion together.

One comment I received from a gentleman was stating that it does not say in the Bible that we are to attend church. I believe there is a large and growing population of people that would consider themselves Christians or believers and feel the same way.

I would like to address these thoughts beginning with these verses from 
Hebrews 10:24-25 which says Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of His return is drawing to a near. 

In or out of a church building, we are The Church. I understand the thinking that the church is not a building, it is a people. That is true. However, this does mean because we are everywhere we forsake or neglect meeting and assembling together. 

It also does not mean we have the option to excuse parts of the Bible because we are angry, upset, hurt, belittled, or any other thing that someone has hurled upon our hearts. 

Friends, God is a mighty healer, He is the God of all comfort, He is the Prince of Peace. If you feel any of these things apply to your story, you need to bend a knee to Him today. You need to straighten out the hurt and the anguish you have been carrying. It is making your load way too heavy.

This does not alleviate the problems that go on in churches. If we could, however, shift our thinking to align with God's purposes for us in the assembly, which is to worship Him together. If we were able to see that the things of this world are temporary and that sometimes includes our gathering place. We need to focus on the things that are truly eternal then we would have one focus and be of one mind and purpose. 

Therefore, if you have any encouragement in Christ, if any comfort from His love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any affection and compassion, then make my joy complete by being of one mind, having the same love, being united in spirit and purpose. Philippians 2:1-2 BSB

This like-mindedness needs to stay in context of the verse. It does not mean we need to be exactly the same. Have the same haircuts. Wear the same clothes. Like the same style of worship music and want the chairs in the church to be the same color. 

This verse means we need to have the same purpose in bringing Glory to God, for HIS name's sake. We need to have the same heavenward focus. Being people of kindness, compassion and showing humility to one another and not esteeming ourselves over one another. We need to love each other enough to care for the salvation and maturity of their faith. We need to see that they, too, are made in the image of our Creator. When we do these things, then our joy may be complete, and we can have a united front, standing strong together. 

If you have walked away from a church, make sure you have not also walked away from God. If you feel this is the case, brothers and sisters in Christ, He is waiting with open arms to receive you back.

If you have not been to church in a while, as a believer, you are part of the body, and we need you. We need you to help make us strong. We need to be united. We need the gifts and talents God has given you and equipped you with to serve Him. 

Don't wait another week. Don't give another excuse. Give it all to God and let Him handle the details. Be a willing obedient heart. And you give Him an open door to do the work He needs to complete in you. 

I know this is hard and may not seem like an answer. I understand, I have been there. Healing seems to take time. It seems to be a process. It can also be something we just relinquish. We don’t have to be in bondage to those thoughts and feelings. If the Son of Man sets us free we are free indeed. We need to be living in that freedom.

Friends, join me in prayer for the Body of Christ, for the millions of broken unrestored relationships, for those who want to draw near to God but don't know where to begin and for those whose worship needs to be healed. For churches around the world to have a Christ-centered focus and for the love of Christ to shine through all that we do.



Friends, if you would like to further this conversation, you can contact me through email (located at the bottom of this page). I am willing to pray with you and do what I can to encourage you. If you are part of the body of Christ, please give an encouraging word below to help others heal and grow. I do appreciate all that you do for this community. Have a wonderful week! 


While you're here, sit down with some of my friends. 

Wow! Last week had 102 posts. I am so glad you all are here. Please remember to visit other friends while you are posting.

They are amazing writers with so many great stories to share with you. Just clink on a link below and you will go directly to their site where you can get to know them more. 

Please, linkup (up to 3) of your family-friendly inspiring stories, recipes, DIY, homeschool, giveaways, or share your life's greatest passions. 

Friends are here to encourage and challenge us in our walk of life, so enjoy!

Thank you for posting and linking up. I try to read and comment on as many of these wonderful posts as I can and as time allows. I just want to say you are all doing wonderful work and praise the Lord that I have had the opportunity to come across the path of so many of you. 

This party has been fantastic and it is thanks to all of you who stop by and Share this party with your friends. Together we can make this our great place. There are easy share buttons to your left or at the bottom of each post (mobile) and after you linkup. 


               Thanks! From all of us at  #SittingAmongFriends 





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The Battle Ground and Sitting Among Friends Blog Party #20



Do you feel like going to church is a fighting battle? Then read on and find hope in the victory! 

Last week, I wrote to you, 3 Tips to Finding a Church You Can Call Home. Since I have had great conversations regarding the topic of the church. Some good and some not so good. I love that so many of you have engaged in the comments section because that is where this story ends and our real life journey begins.

 The Resounding Gong

What I have found in the many conversations this week is a resounding gong. People, in some way or fashion, have been hurt, disappointed, deceived or let down by a church or by the people of the church.

This has left them with several decisions. Realizing the church is full of sinful people, some found it necessary to leave their church and find a new church family. Some have left the church and have not been back for years. While others have been so deeply hurt or confused by “Christians” they have not even graced the doors. Still, others have come to the decision to leave the church completely and find it unnecessary.  

No matter where you are today in your journey, I want to encourage you to seek God, seek the truth because it will set you free.

First and foremost, I would like to say, I am sorry. I am sorry you were hurt, broken-hearted, embarrassed, let down, deceived, belittled, felt you were unworthy or disgraced in any way.

Last week, I gave a disclaimer in our conversation. The disclaimer was to remind us when we walk into the church how important it is to remember it is full of human beings. Humans are flawed.

The imperfect church

It should not surprise us that church-goers are not perfect but sometimes that is what trips us up. That is what catches us off guard. We can make the mistake of elevating the people there higher than God and then are surprised when they let us down.

We are expecting something that only God can give us from people who are sinners just like we are.

I am not saying this an error on our part. The church is supposed to be the hands and feet of Christ. We have to remember those hands and feet were intended for good but have sometimes, sadly, been used to hurt and destroy churches for generations from the inside out.

Friends, we have a true battle on our hands. This is not just a battle against Sally what’s-her-name and Bob I-make-the-rules. The battle was never intended to be against one another.

There is a spiritual battle going on and it is for your heart and for mine. It is for the lives of those in the business of doing Christ’s work, building His kingdom, and seeking to live a life honoring to Him. Satan is in the business of tearing churches apart.

Hold Your Head Up High!

As believers, together we are Christ’s Body (1 Corinthians 12:27). We are to arm ourselves in the full armor of God to stand against the devil’s schemes (Ephesians 6:11). Friends, we are not alone, we are to remain steadfast in our faith and we have hope because we have been given the Holy Spirit to lead us into battle.

John gears us up for the battle when he reminds us: But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won a victory over those people because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world. 1 John 4:4

Did you hear that battle cry? You have already won the victory! The Spirit that lives in you is GREATER than the one who is in this world! The Spirit comes with Power!

We are reminded in 2 Timothy 1:7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.

Life-giving, Life-altering power.

So, if you are reading this today and you have felt conquered or defeated by the church. Don’t give up! Get on your knees and seek the heart of God and let Him guide you to the next step.


Please come back next week. I am going to expand on the topic of the church even more. I want to encourage you and challenge you to think this through and add to this conversation in the comments.



While you're here, sit down with some of my friends. 

Wow! Last week had 112 posts. I am so glad you all are here. Please remember to visit other friends while you are posting.

They are amazing writers with so many great stories to share with you. Just clink on a link below and you will go directly to their site where you can get to know them more. 

Please, linkup (up to 3) of your family-friendly inspiring stories, recipes, DIY, homeschool, giveaways, or share your life's greatest passions. 

Friends are here to encourage and challenge us in our walk of life, so enjoy!

Thank you for posting and linking up. I try to read and comment on as many of these wonderful posts as I can and as time allows. I just want to say you are all doing wonderful work and praise the Lord that I have had the opportunity to come across the path of so many of you. 

This party has been fantastic and it is thanks to all of you who stop by and Share this party with your friends. Together we can make this our great place. There are easy share buttons to your left or at the bottom of each post (mobile) and after you linkup. 

               Thanks! From all of us at  #SittingAmongFriends 

  







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3 Tips to Finding A Church You Can Call Home & Sitting Among Friends Blog Party #19

Having trouble going to church or feeling like you would fit in at church? Here are three tips to help you get your foot in the door and find a place to call home.

A little over a year ago, my husband and I decided to move our family to a new church. For the health and spiritual growth of our family, we felt this was necessary.

Let me proceed with caution. I believe that we have to be very careful not to become consumers in a church. We live in a very consumer-driven society (what can I get for me) and we have to be very careful not to bring that attitude into the church. 
How do I get my monies worth, so-to-say can lead a church into destruction fast.

There are three things that I am going to share, that I believe, will help you settle into new surroundings. If you choose to go to a new church or if you are just beginning to go to church these tips will help you get to know the heart of the church. As always, make sure that the church is adhering to the Word of God. 
When you walk into a church or a new church, remember, it is full of human beings. Humans, by nature, are sinners. This is not always an easy transition. But with a willing heart and the help of the Lord, He will guide you.  

Community

  •  When going to a new church, find a way to get involved in a community. Sometimes, that can be difficult and scary. Give those fears and worries to Christ and ask for His leading. Stick with it. Find a group that you can get into the Word together with, share life with, and pray with. There is nothing that builds stronger relationships than to be tied around God’s Word and Prayer.

For where two or three have gathered together in my name, I am there in their midst. Matthew 18:20

Service

  •          Giving of yourself in service to the Lord is a great way to feel at home. This has a two-fold benefit or blessing. You get to know more people and you get to give of yourself for someone else’s purposes. Christ was an amazing example of servitude.

For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many. Matthew 20:28

Edify 

  •     Finally, this is not only vital to the health of the church but to the body of Christ as a whole and that is to edify. To edify, if you are unfamiliar with this word, means to build each other up. This is not puffing each other up for the sake of building up personal pride, but to build each other up for God’s Glory. To edify is for the purposes of making the body of Christ stronger.

From Him, the whole body is fitted and held together by every supporting ligament. And as each individual part does its work, the body grows and builds itself up in love. Ephesians 4:16

Some ways that we can do that is to study together, pray together, praise together, be there for one another and offer the same graces, mercies, and forgiveness that you, too, have been given.

I hope, that if you are struggling to find a church to call home, you will consider these three tips for making the experience of church life better. I hope you will remember, as believers, we are all part of the Body of Christ. The responsibility, with the guidance of Christ and the leading of the Holy Spirit, is to make it strong. We are all in this together, friends, and I am glad that you have all joined me today for the encouragement of each other here.  


While you're here, sit down with some of my friends. 
They are amazing writers with so many great stories to share with you. Just clink on a link below and you will go directly to their site where you can get to know them more. 

Please, linkup (up to 3) of your family-friendly inspiring stories, recipes, DIY, homeschool, giveaways, or share your life's greatest passions. 


Friends are here to encourage and challenge us in our walk of life, so enjoy!

Thank you for posting and linking up. I try to read and comment on as many of these wonderful posts as I can and as time allows. I just want to say you are all doing wonderful work and praise the Lord that I have had the opportunity to come across the path of so many of you. 

This party has been fantastic and it is thanks to all of you who stop by and Share this party with your friends. Together we can make this our great place. There are easy share buttons to your left or at the bottom of each post (mobile) and after you linkup. 

               Thanks! From all of us at  #SittingAmongFriends 










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Be Still

Be Still
Be Still My Friends! You can rest assure that God is in Control.

For Sharing...

Seeking God

Hope In Him Alone!

Hope In Him Alone!
Thank You, Lord, for deciding who I am!

Seek Him First! Today's Bible Reading

James 1:17
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of Lights with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.

It is of utmost importance that you know that Christ died for you. He died for all sinners so that our relationship with Him could be restored.

Because of His sacrifice on the cross we can have peace. Are you seeking more peace today? Peace of the soul can only be given through the redemptive power of Jesus Christ.

I hope that you, too, know the saving grace of an amazing God.
If you have questions about how to know more you can email me at youresewtrendy@gmail.com

2 Timothy 1:7

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